Major Global Study on the State of Water Stewardship Reveals Growing Consumer Awareness in Saudi Arabia for Climate Change and Water

Ecolab Watermark™ Study includes insight into KSA’s awareness of water scarcity and growing sense of urgency on actions that need to be taken by industry and individuals

November 20, 2023

November 2023, Riyadh, KSA: Ecolab, a global sustainability leader offering water solutions and services, and the parent company of Nalco Water, today announced key Saudi Arabia findings from its inaugural Ecolab Watermark™ Study. The study is the first to include Saudi consumers’ attitudes towards climate change and water, and highlights a growing sense of urgency in the Kingdom regarding water safety, conservation, and the need for industry to increase sustainability measures. The findings reinforce Ecolab’s ongoing partnerships with Saudi government and industry to support sustainability efforts.

By 2030, the planet is set to face a 56% water deficit, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), and 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water, according to the United Nations. The Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region has been recognized as the most water-stressed region in the world, with some 83% of the region's population exposed to water stress caused by climate change. (WRI)

Ecolab’s Watermark Study, which measures the state of water stewardship through water’s importance, usage, connection to climate and responsibility among key consumer populations, highlighted several concerns in the KSA:

  • 53% of Saudi consumers list clean and safe water as a significant environmental concern
  • 66% of Saudi consumers believe clean and safe water will be an issue within the next 5 years
  • 80% of Saudi consumers agree that water scarcity can be effectively addressed  
  • 74% of Saudi consumers believe manufacturers/businesses lack clear guidance and/or plans to combat water scarcity
  • Approximately 75% of Saudi consumers perceive government leaders to have a higher level of concern about their impact on water conservation and climate change compared to business and non-profit leaders

Stefan Umiastowski, Ecolab’s Senior Vice-President & Market Head India, Middle East and Africa said: “The findings of the inaugural Ecolab Watermark Study show there is a growing sense of urgency in the Kingdom regarding water security, conservation, and pressing need for industries to adopt more sustainable water management practices. The good news for industry is that meeting this responsibility will not only deliver positive sustainability but tangible business outcomes too. Through the study, we hope to encourage, educate, and inspire others to take action in protecting this vital resource.”

By focusing on water and consumer perceptions of the ongoing crisis, Ecolab’s Watermark Study provides insights on where and how stakeholders—whether government, businesses, NGOs or even individuals—can work together to successfully address critical global challenges.

Ecolab has played a significant role in developing Saudi Arabia's industrial landscape, collaborating with industries crucial to the Kingdom, combining connected chemistry, digital innovation, and expertise to minimize environmental impacts while maximizing efficiency. Ecolab's strategic expansion of the Ecolab Global Intelligence Center (EGIC) to Saudi Arabia, one of six centers around the globe, underscores its commitment to the Kingdom's digital transformation. EGIC is an international network of remote intelligence facilities that specialize in monitoring and analyzing the performance of critical technologies. 

Building upon its commitment to The National Water Strategy, a cornerstone of the Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is taking significant steps to address global water security challenges. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently announced the establishment of the International Water Organization, headquartered in Riyadh, with a mission to unify global efforts across all facets of the water sector, fostering innovation, technology development, financing, and policy enhancements, all contributing to the cause of water sustainability.

“Proactive measures by governments underscore the vital role of responsible water management...”

Stefan Umiastowski

Ecolab’s Senior Vice President & Market Head India, Middle East and Africa

“Proactive measures by governments underscore the vital role of responsible water management in a region grappling with the constraints of limited freshwater resources. The insights derived from Ecolab’s Watermark Study should inspire leaders from the private and public sectors to embrace a more significant role in safeguarding this invaluable but limited resource,” Umiastowski added. 

Ecolab’s dedication to water sustainability is underscored by a global team of 1,200 scientists, engineers, and technical specialists, operating from 20 cutting-edge technology centers worldwide, including a vital center at King Abdullah University for Science & Technology (KAUST) in KSA.

A trusted partner for millions of customers, for over 100 years, Ecolab has been delivering the industry’s most innovative science-based solutions, data-driven insights and service to improve operational efficiencies and sustainability. In 2020, Ecolab was appointed a founding member and co-chair of Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-led initiative of UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

The Ecolab Watermark Study was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult in 2023 among a sample of general population adults. Ecolab will update and release new editions of its Ecolab Watermark Study.

About Ecolab
A trusted partner for millions of customers, Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) is a global sustainability leader offering water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services that protect people and the resources vital to life. Building on a century of innovation, Ecolab has annual sales of $14 billion, employs more than 47,000 associates and operates in more than 170 countries around the world. The company delivers comprehensive science-based solutions, data-driven insights and world-class service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, and optimize water and energy use. Ecolab’s innovative solutions improve operational efficiencies and sustainability for customers in the food, healthcare, life sciences, hospitality and industrial markets.

About the Ecolab Watermark™ Study
Launched in 2023, the Ecolab Watermark Study is annual research conducted by Ecolab. The global study reports on the state of water stewardship by measuring water’s importance, usage, connection to climate and responsibility among key consumer populations. This research was conducted between February 15 – March 3, 2023, among a sample of general population adults. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full study have a margin of error of plus or minus 2–3 percentage points. Some geographies may be weighted with fewer variables depending on local census data availability.


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